Newsletter - September 2007

  1. American get laid back in Stansted

    American Airlines (AA) has chosen its Stansted (STN) - New York (JFK) route to introduce a much improved business class on its London - New York services, including for the first time by a US carrier, flat bed J (business) class seats. The airline will begin a daily two-class Boeing 767 service on Monday 29 October to its New York hub.

    AA will be operating a Boeing 767-300ER on the route. From 29 October, AA will offer a single daily non-stop flight departing STN at 10:15 for the eight-hour flight, arriving at JFK at 13:15 (all times local). A second daily service will be introduced next April.

    J class customers will benefit from the little used STN Fast Track, and it is likely that AA's check-in area will be at the quieter, western end, of the single terminal building. The airline says that an executive lounge facility will be offered.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News

  2. New Pullman's to be rolled out

    A new chain of upmarket hotels aimed at the business traveller and bearing the historic Pullman brand is being launched by hotel company Accor, the parent company of hotel chains Sofitel and Novotel.

    The Pullman hotels will be located in the world's major cities and will offer all the facilities required to hold large-scale seminars and international conventions. The brand will be rapidly rolled out worldwide through management and franchise contracts, with potentially 300 hotels by 2015.

    In the first phase of the rollout, 45 Sofitel and Grand Mercure units in 23 countries will be converted to the Pullman brand.

    Source: The Times Online

  3. Norwegian expansion

    Europe's fourth-largest low-cost carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle, has placed firm orders for 42 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and secured purchase rights on a further 42.

    It is Boeing's biggest ever order from a Scandinavian airline and its biggest European order for the 737 this year.

    Oslo-based Norwegian started operations in September 2002 with four domestic routes and six 737-300s. Today it operates 122 routes using 22 737-300s and eight MD80s, with the 11 leased 737-800s scheduled for delivery between 2008 and 2010.

    The new aircraft will supplement the 11 737-800s Norwegian ordered on lease agreements from Boeing in May.

    Source: E-Tid

  4. ACTE & MS-UK prepare our Autumn Forum

    Would you prefer to be able to take an active part in an informed discussion on Corporate Travel instead of being talked at?

    If so then the GetThere sponsored Autumn Corporate Travel & Expense Management Forum to be held in London on the 11th of October 2007 is where you should aim to be.

    The event being organised by Management Solutions (UK) Ltd in co-operation with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE-Global) with Media sponsorship by Buying Business Travel will be the 13th forum produced by the team at MS-UK.

    The full details can be examined by clicking here which will also let you click through to our booking page.

    More information concerning the activities of both ACTE and MS-UK will be found on our respective websites www.acte.org and www.ms-uk.com

    Collect your free copy of the Hotel Brokers International Meetings Industry Report when you attend this Forum.

  5. Some Budget flyers a long haul - after they have landed

    Travellers flying on some low-cost airlines are facing a special new class of frustration: the growing number of airports that are nowhere near the cities they are named after. Later this year a Spanish airport called Madrid Sur-Ciudad Real will open to the flying public.

    The problem? Ciudad Real, the city that it is closest to, is 125 miles (200km) to the south of Madrid.

    Whilst "Madrid Sur-Ciudad Real" may be stretching the link between an airport's location and its name further than ever before, it is hardly alone in doing so. The German airport of Frankfurt-Hahn is more than 70 miles (120km) from the city of Frankfurt, a journey that takes about 1½ hours by car.

    Passengers arriving at Brussels South-Charleroi airport may be surprised to find that they are an hour by shuttle bus from Brussels city centre. Chicago Rockford airport, another favourite of budget airlines, is 90 miles (145km) from Chicago city centre - about 1hr 40min by road.

    Some Low-cost airlines keep prices down by using smaller airports, which charge smaller fees and can turn flights around more quickly outside large cities.

    Source: Times Online

  6. North East to Middle East

    Emirates began its Newcastle-Dubai route on Saturday September 1.

    The route is the first direct long-haul flights from Newcastle airport, and will give passengers the chance to connect to destinations in India, the Far East and Australasia without having to transit through Heathrow.

    Emirates will be flying a daily service on the route, using a two-class Airbus A330-200 configured for 27 business and 251 economy class seats.

    Source: Business Traveller

  7. Javelin trains arrive on time

    UK train operator, Southeastern's new generation of Class 395 high-speed trains has arrived in the UK for testing ahead of introduction onto routes to Kent and the Olympic Stadium.

    Part of London's success in attracting the Olympic Games in 2012 was a commitment to rapid transit between the capital and the stadium, with Southeastern promising a 7min journey time from St Pancras to Stratford International using the Javelin service.

    The dark blue trains are capable of 140mph and an initial four will now be put to the test on the UK network, while a further 25 costing a total of £260m, will enter passenger service in December, 2009.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News

  8. London City link to Oslo

    Scandinavian carrier SAS launched its third route from London City Airport (LCY) last week, with a twice-daily service to Oslo. The new route adds to the existing flights from LCY to Stockholm and Copenhagen.

    SAS will operate a three-class service on the route - business, economy and economy extra, the last offering business class check-in, fully flexible fares, a complimentary meal and extra loyalty miles.

    The carrier is currently offering up to 50 per cent off business and economy extra fares on the routes from LCY to Stockholm or Oslo - visitwww.flysas.com for more information.

    Source: BusinessTraveller Online

  9. Solution for lost luggage

    Worldwide express delivery company, Mail Boxes, has introduced a new scheme that allows business travellers to send their luggage ahead of a trip and have it waiting for them at their hotel.

    In response to a 150% increase in customers using Mail Boxes' services to forward their bags rather than check them in, the company now promises to get business travellers' luggage delivered to their destination when deposited at a Mail Boxes office 24-hours or more before their flight.

    Mail Boxes quotes figures from the Association of European Airlines, which show that on average 15.7 bags out of every 1,000 are delayed or lost, with BA mishandling 23 per 1,000 - largely due to problems with transferring luggage onto connecting flights.

    To avoid this issue, Mail Boxes uses carriers with hold space on freight rather than passenger airlines, where all luggage is consolidated rather than loose-loaded to ensure bags are kept together. It claims to beat commercial airlines hands-down with less than 0.5% of items going astray.

    Source: Air & Business Travel News

  10. A New Charles

    A new luxury hotel will open on 4 October 2007.

    It will be called The Charles Hotel, in honour of Sir Rocco Forte's father, renowned hotelier Lord Charles Forte.

    The Charles Hotel is The Rocco Forte Collection's third German property, joining Hotel de Rome in Berlin (which opened in October 2006) and Villa Kennedy in Frankfurt (which opened in March 2006), and confirms The Rocco Forte Collection as the key player in the luxury hotel market in Germany.

    Source: Hotel Travel News

    To read more about the The Rocco Forte Collection, click here

  11. Qatar increase influence in India

    Qatar Airways announced further expansion into India this year with the launch of scheduled flights to Nagpur and Ahmedabad to take the airline's network of cities served across the country to eight.

    Starting September 23, the Doha-based carrier will launch twice-weekly flights to the central Indian city of Nagpur, located in the State of Maharashtra. Nagpur, with a population of over two million people, is known for its farming belt and orange-growing centre.

    Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 58 all-Airbus aircraft to 78 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East, Indian subcontinent and North America. The highlight of this year's expansion has been the launch of flights to New York (Newark) and Washington DC - the airline's first move into the North American market.

    With a growing international network, more travellers have an opportunity to use Qatar Airways' Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport, exclusively for departing First and Business Class passengers.

    Qatar Airways is one of only five airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. In July 2007, Skytrax voted Qatar Airways as having the Best First Class in the world. The airline's cabin crew were deemed Best in the Middle East for the fifth consecutive year, and Qatar Airways was also voted Best Airline in the Middle East.

    Source: Airline Travel News

  12. Europe's first city centre seaplane service starts from Glasgow

    Europe's first city centre seaplane service opened in August running from the Clyde In Glasgow to Oban, gateway to the Western Isles.

    Operated by Loch Lomond Seaplanes with prices starting at £140 return.

    Other destinations under consideration include the islands of Mull and Skye

    The company plans to reduce travelling time between Scotland's central belt and some of the more remote Highland communities to minutes rather than hours.

    The launch marks a return of seaplanes to the Clyde after more than 63 years and follows the company gaining Civil Aviation Authority certification for the service last November.

    Source: TravelMole

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